King for a day: The internet finally takes down books, cd’s, and dvd’s

Rumors are swirling that Borders bookstores is shutting down 400 stores and laying off 11,000 employees. Which may be the kill shot from the internet we have been talking about for years.

First, it stinks that several thousand folks are going to be out of work. I always liked bookstore employees because they are the friendliest in the retail world.

If you look to Barnes and Noble, the titan of bookstores, they too are on the chopping block. Up for sale with a potential buyer, the company is losing money every quarter. The strongest segment of the business is their e-book reader, the Nook, and the corresponding e-book sales.

This all means that book superstores are going the way of the Dodo bird.

The movie business is already done. Blockbuster is in the process of closing 1,000+ stores. Hollywood Video is in bankruptcy and, for me, they even tore down the building at the one I used to work at in Westwood!

The sales of DVD’s also plummeted 20% in the first quarter of 2011.

I can’t remember the last time I bought a DVD.

Music and CD sales have been done for a while. The stores that used to sell CD’s: Wharehouse, Virgin Megastores, Tower Records, and others are now just fading memories. The empty stores they left behind only show a passing resemblance to the hotspots they once were.

Here is a chart that shows 2009 sales of CD’s lowering back down to 1985 levels.

King for a day.

The internet has finally overcome and I say it’s for the better. Music is not dead, movies are still alive, and I’m reading more books than ever.

Perhaps the megastores, big boxes, and local DVD stores are gone. But, in their place I think we can expect more mom/pop used book stores, cult favorite CD stores (Amoeba music), and on-demand movies.

It’s a plus for all of us!


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  1. This is great for consumers, even if we are buying many digital products at nearly the same price as the physical ones.  But, it is sad the number of jobs lost from disc manufacturing, to register operators at the point of sale at a Borders bookstore, etc.  Not to mention the many jobs in between.  

    1. @facebook-1526160017:disqus I wonder if this is merely a reversal. Like in the movie ‘You’ve Got Mail’ where Meg Ryan’s book store is going out of business and she is laying off her employees. Of course, Tom Hanks super store hired new people, so maybe it was a net zero loss. 

      In this case will new entrepreneurs open small bookstores again and take up the nostalgic place they used to? Or, are bookstores just done for?

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